Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Autumn is upon us... Here's an Almond Spice Scone recipe from CakeLove

CakeLove's Warren Brown Sensei of Business and Cake

By Tracey Gold Bennett

Let me guess, you're sitting at your desk, looking at your computer monitor and your eyes are glazing over. You perhaps spent all weekend watching the Food Network and wondering how you could do what you love for a living. You're not alone. But here's a tip, get a sensei if you want to go into business. Today the business is baking and our sensei is Warren Brown Cakelove wunderkind.

CakeLove is a wildly successful bakery which opened in 2002 in the Nation's Capital. The very first shop was located at 1506 U street.  The latest bakery opened at 160 National Plaza in National Harbor (Oxon Hill, MD.)

So have you ever wondered what it might be like to leave your job and follow your food passion like lawyer turned baker Warren Brown did? 

During our chat, the CakeLove phenom offered these words of advice:

"When entering the market, do the research," Brown said.  "Then make the leap."

TG: What about the risks?

Warren Brown: "Practice then go ahead and take the risk. It's not always going to work and you're not always going to win."

TG: What about the costs?

WB: It's best to make sure you have financing. [Starting a business] is also emotionally challenging so its good to have support and be physically fit. You're going to need all of your energy.

Its obvious from his stunning success, a new book, a show Sugar Rush which aired for several seasons on The Food Network, and a wildly expanding baking empire, that Brown is savoring some pretty sweet rewards.

Here's one of CakeLove's fall signature recipes:

Almond Spice Scones

"I got into baking scones during the editing process for my first cookbook.  I was going through a stage where I didn't want to use a scale -- I needed to get more comfortable with the ingredients and listen to them."

" I think when you pay attention to the food and your cravings, the combinations you create can be amazing. Scones are great too because they can be whipped together in no time and they're perfect for absorbing lots of spices."

Yield: 8 mini scones

Dry Ingredients
·         6-7 oz (1 1/2 cups)  All Purpose Flour sifted
·         2 tbs Cornmeal
·         2 oz (1/4 cup) Sugar
·         2 tbs Turbinado Sugar
·         3/4 tsp  Baking Powder
·         1/4 tsp Sea Salt
·         1/4 tsp Cinnamon
·         pinch Allspice
·         1/2 cup Almonds chopped
·         1/4 cup Currants
·         3 oz. Unsalted Butter

Liquid Ingredients
·         5 tbs Cream
·         1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
·         Egg Wash
·         1 Egg
·         dash rosewater
·         sea salt for drizzling (to taste)
·         sugar for drizzling (to taste)

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the rack on the middle shelf of the oven.
2) Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Whisk for about 10 seconds.
3) Cut butter into small pieces then rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers or mix in a standing mixer fitted with a paddle on medium speed about 3 to 4 minutes.
4) Once butter is worked in and the flour clumps when pinched, slowly pour in the cream while turning the dough with a fork or low speed.
5) Once the dough begins to stick to itself in large, barely tacky clumps, remove the dough from the bowl and shape into two 4" squares about 1" tall.
6) Cut each square on the diagonal twice to make 4 small triangles. Cut any triangles that are too large in half again.
7) Mix the egg and rosewater together in a bowl. Gently swirl the scones in the egg wash and place top side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.
8) Sprinkle Turbinado sugar and sea salt to taste and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until they're lightly browned on the sides and golden across the top.
9) Serve warm with Apricot Preserves.

Almond Spice Scones from Warren Brown of CakeLove: Now it doesn't get better than that folks. Brown is also the author of several books including CakeLove in the Morning, CakeLove: How to Bake Cakes from Scratch and United Cakes of America.